How Many Amps Does A Winch Draw? (Let’s Find out)

Whenever we buy a winch, our primary focus always remains on the pulling capacity of a winch

So, what we mean by pulling capacity is a winch’s amp draw, line pull, and line speed. 

It is imperative to understand the amp draw of a winch as it takes a lot of power from your vehicle’s battery. 

And, if the winch has a low amp draw, it will drain power a lot more slowly from the battery. 

For this, we have to know how much amp a winch draws. And, for that, we have an amp draw based on different line pulls.

Also check: winching guide and how a winch works

How Many Amps Does A Winch Draw

The electrical current drawn by the winch depends on how hard it is pulled. 

Typically, the winch will have a chart available that shows the amp draw the winch will produce at increasing pull increments up to its maximum pull rating. 

The general amp draw chart is shown below. Remember that these are first wrap values; as the wraps on the drum accumulate, and leverage is lost, the amount of pull developed at the amp draws will decrease.

Amp Draw Based on Line Pull

Line PullAmp Draw

Factors Affecting Amp Draw

When the winch is operational, it will pull very hard. The amp draw is determined by the degree of that pull. 

It is essentially the amount of current used by the winch. The obstacles that put the winch under pressure greatly influence the amp draw, low or high.

The amp draw is also affected by the amount of load. The greater the load, the more complex the winch functions. 

When the line pull is 4500 lb, a basic model with a single wrap of winch cable would typically draw around 250 amp.

A good winch only has one layer of cable, and that cable is wrapped around a drum that serves as the winch drum. Adding layers always reduces efficiency because they become fragile a lot faster. 

In fact, it has been discovered that the additional 10% efficiency of the winch is caused by one additional layer of cable around the drum.


A winch’s efficiency is affected by a variety of factors. The specifications listed on a winch’s product description are based on its ideal performance. 

And the truth is that in the real world, winching operations are rarely carried out in optimal conditions.

In short, a winch can only perform like how it is described, only if it is in a lab, which means how much amp your winch draws is precisely the same as described can only happen in a perfect world. The truth, your winch will always draw more amps than mentioned.

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As an avid off-road enthusiast, I know firsthand the importance of having a reliable winch. That's why I created WinchAdvice – to help fellow off-roaders like myself make informed decisions when selecting their next winch. So whether you're an experienced pro or a beginner just starting out, my website offers valuable advice and guidance on all things winching.

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